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Quiddity explores the ways in which our approach to artworks can change outside the context of a traditional gallery setting.
Quiddity takes a behind-the-scenes look at the RMIT University Art Collection and questions what happens after paintings come down off the wall, when we stop seeing art as objects laden with meaning or expressing emotion, and begin to simply see them as objects.
Coming from the Latin meaning ‘the essence of a thing’, Quiddity examines the way in which both exhibitions and collections are customarily built.
Featuring work by artists represented in the RMIT Art Collection, including: George Baldessin, Stephen Benwell, Chris Bond, Peter Ellis, Clare Humphries, Geoff Lowe, Greg Moncrieff, Hisaharu Motoda, Nick Mourtzakis, Anthony Pryor, Hugh Ramsay, Norma Redpath, Marika Wanyubi, Ah Xian, Ken and Julia Yonetani, and Paul Zika.
The exhibition has been researched and designed in collaboration with students from the RMIT Master of Arts Management program, and asks audiences to engage with artworks not from the perspective of the artist or curator, who privilege narrative, purpose and iconography, but from that of the conservator or registrar, who see art in terms of materials, taxonomy, provenance, condition, and size.
To that end, the pristine order of RMIT Gallery’s exhibition spaces will be translated into the relative anarchy of the storeroom, in which artworks have come down off the walls, ceasing to be concepts, and becoming objects.
The gallery is located diagonally opposite Melbourne Central Railway Station and can be reached by trams traveling on Swanston and La Trobe Streets, including the City Circle Tram.
Limited street parking is available.